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Meet the Third Cohort of the Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator

the 2022-23 manufacturing accelerator cohort members stand outside

Meet the Third Cohort of the Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator

Rev: Ithaca Startup Works is thrilled to welcome 33 new entrepreneurs to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem as they join the third annual cohort of the Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator.

Funded by the Economic Development Administration, the accelerator invites entrepreneurs across all industries on a year-long journey to move their products from prototypes to production. The accelerator was established to support founders as they face what can be one of the most challenging times in an entrepreneurial journey–the transition from developing a prototype to working with manufacturers to scale production.  

Over the 52-week period, participants will engage in programming, receive manufacturing expertise and business mentorship, and gain introductions to local manufacturers and investors. The cohort will meet virtually twice a month and convene in person in Ithaca, NY approximately three times during the program for immersive experiences and manufacturing tours. They’ll also be assigned a dedicated Entrepreneur-in-Residence to meet with regularly for advice and mentorship. Participants will graduate from the program in September 2023 with the connections and skills needed to bring their prototype to production and have a successful market launch. 

Several of the teams participating in this cohort of Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator — including Apricity Solutions, Artēria, ReVert Technologies, Barn Owl Technologies, Jalavant, and Wisey — are also alumni startups of the 2022 Prototyping Hardware Accelerator, where they gained the engineering and business development skills needed to bring their product idea from a concept to a reality. 

Meet the teams participating in the Classic Track of the 2022-23 Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator:

  • Apricity Solutions: Founded by Jeffrey E. Green, M.D, M.P.H., Apricity Solutions is creating a simple, safe, and inexpensive infant warming blanket that can be used in low- and middle-income countries to improve maternal-child health and reduce infant mortality. 
  • Artēria: L. Vaughn of Artēria is developing a wearable device and digital platform to provide cardiovascular health solutions. 
  • BrailleWear: Kush Jain and JJ Li of BrailleWear have created a smart glove that helps visually impaired people learn braille faster, independently and at a significantly lower cost than traditional methods.
  • Cubed Data: Pima Mbwana is the founder of Cubed Data, a construction company that builds sustainable modular data centers, providing infrastructure to solve building and design inefficiencies for a better connected future.
  • Disc Dynamics: Devin Benson, Luke Perkins, Josh Pickrell of Disc Dynamics are developing products designed for members of the disc sports community to improve their game and enrich their playing experience. 
  • EverFoam Products: Traci Jones, founder of EverFoam Products, has designed reusable Mylar party balloons constructed with sustainable materials and made to be compressible for easy shipping and storage. The look and appeal of a traditional single use balloon is achieved without the need for helium or air, reducing costs and increasing sustainability. 
  • New Path Label Applicators: Paul & Julie Koch are the co-founders New Path Label Applicators, a startup innovating the design and manufacture of affordable label applicators. Using a patented Channel Slide technology, New Path Label Applicators makes label applicator machines that are easy to use and more affordable than competing technologies. 
  • Opal: The team behind Opal — Jen Chiang, Stéphane Krumenacker, Lance Norman, Frank Emory III — is designing the future of wearable safety with fashion in mind. Opal is building a thoughtfully designed smart ring that allows the user to request help from 911 or emergency contacts.
  • ReVert Technologies: Co-founders Ryan Li and Joseph Lybik of ReVert Technologies are bringing their debut product to market. The Teak Smart Cube is an AI-enabled modular power adapter that turns different plugged-in home electronics on and off, saving users energy and reducing their carbon footprint without disruption to lifestyle. 
  • RheoHero: Ludovico Cestarollo and Karan Vishwanath of RheoHero are developing an innovative ankle support solution for collegiate basketball trainers to rapidly secure the ankles of the athletes and provide support against twisting injuries without limiting athletes’ mobility.

“We’re excited to grow and benefit from the wealth of knowledge, resources, and experiences brought to the program by Rev: Ithaca Startup Works and our cohort members,” said Julie Koch of New Path Label Applicators. “We look forward to developing a pathway to share our products with others.”

This year also marks the inaugural cohort of the AgTech Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator track, where participants working on innovations in the food and agriculture industries will receive specialized training, mentorship, and resources to navigate establishing a manufacturing strategy in the ag industry. 

“Manufacturing products in the AgTech space poses some unique challenges that can include food safety, rugged operating environments, and integrating into existing operations. The Manufacturing Accelerator will assist companies in identifying these unique requirements and strategies to address to enable a smooth product launch,” said Ken Rother, director of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. 

Meet the teams participating in the AgTech Track of the 2022-23 Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator:

  • Atlas Urban Farms: Founded by Connor Harbison with team members Weixun He and Winston Hsu, Atlas Urban Farms designs vertical farming systems for chefs, so they can save money serving fresher food.
  • Barn Owl Technologies: Richard Chen and Alec Cheng of Barn Owl Technologies are building “Google Maps for pests”. The product enables farmers to fight new invasive insects and provides early detection for farmers to deal with existing invasive species while using less pesticides.
  • Bifarm Tech: Bifarm Tech co-founders Wanjun Gao and Hanna Gru are working to provide autonomous indoor growing systems. Bifarm Tech specializes in precision aeroponics with digital environment control. 
  • Druid Agriculture: Co-founded by Julian Walker and Desmond Irby, Druid Agriculture has developed a simple, affordable camera system that allows farmers to remotely manage and monitor crops so they can solve problems faster and improve yields. The systems can be installed in any indoor environment, from multi-acre greenhouses to a grow tent in a basement.
  • Jalavant: Piyush Jain and Chendan Luo are the duo behind Jalavant, developing “lab in the pocket” technology that helps farmers grow better with instant-measured data and data-tracking throughout the farming process. 
  • Synnefa: Taita Ngetich & Paul Obwaka are the founders of Synnefa, an AgTech SaaS startup making complex farming feel simple by providing farming software integrated with climate smart irrigation systems powered by AI.
  • Wisely: Co-founders Rachelle & Charles McCray of Wisely, Inc. are developing a first-of-its-kind smart food storage lid.

“The accelerator will provide us huge support in the form of manufacturing resources, connections, and expertise in mechanical design and electronic circuit design,” said Richard Chen of Barn Owl Technologies, a Prototyping Hardware Accelerator alumni. “Working with Entrepreneurs-in-Residence at Rev was a great experience. They provide really helpful suggestions and save time for new entrepreneurs.”

Stay tuned on the Rev blog, Instagram, and LinkedIn to learn more about these teams and follow along with their success over the coming months.